MFP Users Reveal the 1 Simple Thing That’s Helped Them Lose Weight

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MFP Users Reveal the 1 Simple Thing That’s Helped Them Lose Weight

We asked MyFitnessPal users to share the most valuable lesson (or lessons) they’ve learned after losing weight successfully. Not surprisingly, counting calories and exercising were common responses because, well, they work. But, the way in which some of our users accomplished this was a bit surprising and completely awesome. Stop going to the gym after 19 years and still lose almost 20 pounds, anyone?

“I started drinking only water and unsweetened iced tea, and I walk for an hour to an hour and a half each night. I have lost 70 pounds in 15 months.”
—LeLani A.

“No bread, pasta, rice or wine. Protein, fruits and veggies. FitBit and MyFitnessPal food diary and of course exercise. Took up Pilates. 55 pounds lost since Feb 23, 2015. Still 30 to go!”
—Jo C.

“More exercise, less food! Couldn’t do it without keeping track.”
—Mark B.


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“Getting off my butt and exercising instead of eating chips and feeling sorry for myself. I have lost 72 pounds in 5 months.”
—Teresa C.

“Portion control, using stevia instead of sugar, wearing my FitBit and making sure I get my 10,0000 steps per day.”
—Shannon P.

“Counting calories, not eating past 6p.m. and not buying any junk food.”
—Tabatha B.

Using the food diary. It’s astonishingly easy to rack up calories, and so now, I’m very careful to get more bang for my calorie buck which means nothing out of crinkly wrappers and a lot of fresh produce, lean protein and complex carbs. I have gotten to the point where I can walk past the snack aisle without a second glance.”
—Pat O.

“Cut added sugar. Eating real, whole food and whole fat everything.”
—Katie P.

“Portion control by using a food scale, and I measure in grams. I’ve lost over 75 pounds. I’ve been living a healthy, active lifestyle since 2000. Hallelujah!”
—Julie N.

“I stopped eating back the calories I burned through exercise. The moment I stopped, I started losing weight, whereas before I just stayed the same—even after making healthier choices and exercising!”
—Jordan M.

“Started jogging and cut my total sugar intake to 20 grams per day. I have lost 60 pounds since May.”
—Tony W.

“Stopped going to the gym after 19 years and started walking and doing body-weight exercises at home. I lost almost 20 pounds.”
—Anita R.

“I made the routine attainable 4–5, 1-hour sessions per week, outdoors biking preferably or inside when needed, the five hours I give myself is not too much to ask, it has allowed me to set in place changes to enable 170 pounds lost over 3.5 years.”
—Mark G.

“Don’t drink your calories.”
—Hannah G.

“I cut sugar, white and processed foods, and the weight melted off. I always exercised but until I changed my diet, nothing happened. Cutting sugar was the best thing I could do for myself. I am down 30 pounds and able to maintain my weight and not have sugar cravings tempting me. I am no longer a sugar addict. And that is what worked for me. There’s no magic pills or powder, no powerful exercise routine that will help until the diet changes. So happy I made the change.”
—Lisa M.

“I only do about 5 minutes cardio on the treadmill then I do HIIT workouts with some weights. Doing this, I lost more weight than running on a treadmill for 30 minutes.”
—Mali R.

“Cutting down on the takeaway coffee, reducing the portions of carbs at dinner time and a bigger serve of protein. I was already doing well with exercise and diet but those things have kick started me again after a bit of a plateau.”
—Jane S.

“I am 50 years old. I lost over 50 pounds of excess body fat. NO dieting. NO starving. NO pills. NO drugs. Healthy Weight Loss = Excess Body Fat Loss. Lots of plant-based protein, Meatless Monday, Personalized Meal Plan and 10 minutes of exercise every day.”
—Arleen M.

“Reduced portions by using a small plate & not filling it. No sugar, dairy or wheat (bread). Walking/jogging 5 miles a day/6 days a week. Losing 1 pound per week. Lost 13, goal is 14 more.”
—Wynona H.

“No pop, less snacking, no snacks after 7pm.”
—Sheri M.

“Portion control by using a toddler’s set (bowl and plate), keeping track on MyFitnessPal of the foods using healthier choices, water, no-calorie drinks and excercise. Lost 48 pounds.”
—Karen O.

“I prepare all my foods myself and measure them out for each meal. It has helped me lose 70 pounds in 7 months.”
—Wayne K.

“Nutrition, clean eating, no processed food. Splurging in moderation. Limited sugar, limited bread.”
—Jolene H.

“Drinking 80+ ounces of water a day.”
—Jessica M.

“Lost 32 pounds in 3 months with walking to work.”
—Jen S.

Using this website. It’s as simple as getting below the calorie deficit you have set for yourself (based on pre-calculations of BMR) and then learning how to keep getting it below that. Honestly you can’t not lose weight if you just follow it.”
—Jacob B.


ResolutionResetSquareMORE TO HELP YOUR #RESOLUTIONRESET

How to Find an Accountabilibuddy
The Beginner’s Guide to MyFitnessPal
How to Eat Like a Successful MyFitnessPal User


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  • Nicka

    Just Google ‘ofmenet about weight loss pills’ and you will read very helpful article.

  • clee4three

    Fitness Pal is great..iI have been using it now for 3 weeks and I have shredded down 2 waist sizes!! Love it!

  • Jennifer D

    I love MFP too. It’s really made me aware of what I’m taking in. I was wasting a lot of calories on alcohol. I really cut back on alcohol to one or two drinks a week from about 10 a week and have lost 5 lbs. It helped me tweak my diet as well to meet some of my nutritional deficiencies.

  • Mia M

    Here’s my poor pitfall me story I am trying to loos weight but I am limited to what I can do most of the time just standing and move takes a lot out of me I’m 51 yr and weight over 270 lbs and am only4’11” way over weight I have had a right knee replacement and now need my left knee done. I have recently Ben have in a problem with swelling & it bad I have stopped taking my diabetes meds because one of the side effect is weight gain what do I do ??? I need help

    • Susan B

      Please Mia, don’t get off your diabetes meds. Diabetes is a very serious illness that can kill you and cause very nasty complications if not controlled. Go see your doctor, maybe she can change the meds or give some advice. It is important to start moving, even if this is difficult for you. Baby steps! Start by walking around your living room, 5 times, then 10 times etc. Do it once an hour. Then walk to the end of your yard, your street, slowly increasing the distances/frequency as your mobility/fitness improves. Use MFP to monitor your food intake — I find just recording the calories has really helped me cut down and make smarter choices. And try to make every calorie count — stop (or at least cut down) on all the dead calories such as sodas, chips etc. you will find you can eat a lot

      • David

        Follow the advice of Susan B. 3-years ago I could barely walk from one end of the house to the other due illness. It took me 25-minutes to get out of bed – no getting dressed – and walk to the coach, which included hanging on to walls and doors on the way. After a 10-minute rest I could then stand again, but that required the use of all four limbs too. Now I can walk 5+ miles without my body complaining too much . If I can do it so can you – I’m not very good at the long term resolve/commitment, you’ve just got to keep trying. You’ve Posted here so that’s a good first step; keep it up. Let me know how your tracking, it sometimes helps if you know someone else is interested in you. And don’t be afraid of a failure… There’s always tomorrow, but never use that as an excuses.

    • KoKo

      Please research how to loose weight while diabetic. Dr. Mercola is a great and trusted online resource.

    • John

      Mia see if Doc can put you on the Diabetes drug Metformin. I take 500mg 2 Times per day. It controls my numbers and is proven to help you lose weight. Good luck, and please do not stop your meds on your own.

    • Shannon

      Take your meds as the weight gain isn’t the issue….try to make little changes like walking if just 15 minutes per day and be proud of your new commitment to yourself!!!! Drink water and eat from the produce isle- feel free to snack but snack healthy- apples, almonds, hot tea….always be proud of yourself as the changes will make you a healthier person!!! Sign up for short local run/walk events & you’ll find a mix of fit people and people working to improve their health- JUST WALK & commit to finish!!!! Soon you’ll be walking long events and getting medals- there is sooo much support and you will love yourself for the change!!!! Remember “baby steps” and keep telling yourself you are a new you- making healthy choices – being active and feeling better & proud!!!!!
      I’m a middle age woman slightly over weight- with work, kids etc life can get in the way but you can do it – just know YOU are important and you only need 15-30 minutes to walk and 30-40 minutes to chop something up and cook (simple with lots of seasonings instead of sauces!!!). LOVE THE NEW YOU FROM THE DAY YOU START DONT WAIT FOR THE SMALLER YOU- you are awesom because of your commitment to a change : )

    • Janet Watson-Beber

      Start with small goals. Chair exercises, stretching, and the mantra I am doing this for my health! You’ve got this. Even if you only start with 1 minute, you’ll find yourself doing 5 or 10 minutes because it feels good.
      Start with small exercises every commercial. Good Luck!

    • Elena

      Mia, try swimming or water-jogging in the pool. Water exercises are easy on the joints (zero impact) and with a little effort you will first feel, and then see results! Look into Aquabelts – that is an inexpensive device, literally a foam belt, that will keep you afloat while jogging in the pool.
      Make sure to keep posting about your progress!!!

  • vice86

    MFP’er too. I track everything, keep within calories, cut out the bad stuff I always ate like Wawa chicken cutlet subs, chips, steaks, cookies and cut down on the alcohol. Down 33 in 9 weeks so far. It’s pretty much common sense though. Eat smart, lose weight. Can’t stand the “i can’t seem to lose weight” folks who are on their 4th beer and just finished their “healthy” meal from Red Robin lol.

  • Rubina Johnson

    Started drinking infused waters now I can’t stop. Use a lot of variations to keep it fun. And my waist is slowly going down! !

  • Eliot

    The problem with many of these post are ‘none of this”, “only this”, etc. All such posts also note significant weight loss in a short time. Not to denegrate anyone’s success, but sustained weight loss is based on proper eating. Cutting out “all carbs”, etc. is not realistic or healthy, long term. Chances are, the 20 or more pounds you gained did not occur in a couple of months and expecting them to disappear and stay disappeared over that period is unrealistic. That is not to say, you should take 10 years to lose the 50 pounds you put on in that time period. The difference is making an intentional, planned weight reductions strategy, as opposed to a radical, unsustainable one.

  • Dj Horton

    brushing my teeth immediately after dinner helps my skip that just-before-bed bowl of ice cream.

  • Val

    Cutting out caffeine completely allows me to (fairly easily) stick to the 1500 calories MFP allows me each day. Caffeine just seems to buzz up my appetite. Also, I’ve saved tons of money skipping coffee each day!

  • gboybama

    After losing 45 pounds and getting close to my goal a couple years ago, I got lazy and abandoned MFP. A brief time later, I started putting the weight back on, eventually gaining 35 pounds back. Feeling once again miserable and fat, I finally got motivated again and I’m currently 20 down from my all time high. I’m determined to get back in those 36 jeans and maybe beyond. The biggest lesson I learned was LOG, LOG, LOG. Without those numbers to look at, my brain can’t seem to process that having that huge, greasy breakfast, monster cheeseburger or spare tire sized cookie has a direct correlation with making me fat.

    • cheerfulmind

      I so relate to this. Now I log everyday, even a planned off day so I see what I’m eating. Otherwise I look up 3 months later and I’m in the McDonalds drive thru line seriously wondering why I’m in my fat clothes again.

  • Amanda in Strangeland

    Portion control is all fine and dandy and that’s what I’ve been doing, but what can I do about this terrible hunger pain? I’ve tried water with no help.

    • cheerfulmind

      Real hunger pangs indicate, well, hunger. I wouldn’t try to mask them–it’s not the same as not indulging a craving or even an appetite. Are you restricting to an unhealthy calorie limit? If not, are your choices of food nutritionally rich? You don’t want to limit portions of junk, it just can’t and won’t fill you. Good luck!

      • gboybama

        Truth!

    • Susiemae Jordan

      I have found that drinking water throughout the day helps. Not waiting until you get hungry and try to drink it away. I start drinking water first thing in the morning right after I brush my teeth! Hope this helps. Also, try a diet drink if hunger pangs don’t go away. The bubbles usually help fill you!

  • aruba2515

    I eat whatever I want. I eat ice-cream (one and 1/2 scoops with nuts, chocolate, and caramel toppings), pizza, burgers, bread, flour tortilla’s, cottage cheese, fruit, chicken tenders, crackers, hummus, veggies, cheese spread, pasta, bacon, sausage, muffins, croissants, egg, tuna, and chicken salads, baked potatoes, sour cream, soups, etc. I DO NOT count my caloric intake. I only count my carbs intake. I eat 46-60 carbs (per meal) for breakfast, again, for lunch, and then again for dinner. I have a morning snack (15-30 carbs), and and evening snack (15-30) carbs. I started April 14, 2016, and I’ve lost 16 lbs. as of today. I am allowed to eat less than my minimum carbs, but I can’t go over my maximum per meal/snack. I lose about 2 lbs, every 2-3 days.

    I have a disability, so I exercise on my bed with ankle weights, and handheld free weights. I do my push-ups against the wall since I can’t bend, or put my knee on the ground/floor. I get my heart pumping, but it does not make me sweat. I do sit-ups, leg lifts, yoga stretches, upper body and lower body with weights one day, then do the same routine with no weights the next day, all while sitting, or lying on my bed instead of a yoga mat, or the floor.

    My problem is that I’m not a big eater, and when I starve my body throughout the day, my body feeds off of itself and stores what it needs to protect itself, and in my case, I gain weight. When I eat the five meals a day, based on the carbs range, I lose weight. I have been doing this all while away from work. I just hope that when I return to work next week, I can continue to eat all the food each day and not go back to just eating veggies and fruit at work, and then coming home and just eating dinner.

    FYI: My daily caloric intake range is 2,070 calories, however, I’ve not yet hit that in the entire 3 weeks I’ve been eating based on carbs instead of calories. Sometimes, I don’t even get 1,000 calories in, even though I’ve eaten 3 complete meals, and two snacks a day, so I just add/eat something extra so MyFitnessPal will let me record it (still within my carbs range though).

  • Amanda Bynes

    I start every day with a spinach and berry smoothie. Keeps me full takes away sugar cravings. Lost 50 pounds